The number one solution to boosting squash participation is show more coverage of major squash tournaments on terrestrial channels.
With sports like football, rugby, and F1, the TV coverage for these sports of their major events – whether it be highlights or live coverage is immense on terrestrial channels; so why is no consistent coverage of major squash tournaments?
Already there is coverage on digital channels, such as BT Sport, but how is squash to grow like other sports such as Cycling and Women’s Football. Perhaps the BBC should consider showing squash to fill the gaps with the sports they have lost out on.
Already, they show major tennis events, Wimbledon and Queens; so why not the British Squash Open, AJ Bell British Grand Prix or highlights of the prestigious Canary Wharf Squash Classic, in London.
As squash is one of the top priority sports as recognised by Sport England, should not be more TV coverage to increase awareness and encourage participation among the youth and perhaps inspire former payers to get back into the sport as a coach?
Show major squash tournaments on free-to-TV
Compared to other countries such as India and Japan, the coverage of squash is popular as result of the Professional Squash Association (PSA). Earlier this year, the PSA agreed with SNTV to broadcast major squash tournaments via their broadcast partners such as Al Jazeera and Zee TV.
With a channel or programme dedicated to squash, the ideal content would be:
- Interviews 1-2-1 with the current UK squash players
- News on grassroots development across the UK
- Highlights from major international tournaments
- Interviews with Legends of the Squash
- Historic matches
If the BBC cannot do this, maybe showing coverage on Channel 5 or even Channel 4. A bold move could be developing its own channel on Freeview HD with backing of a major blue-chip sponsor. Another avenue could be showing coverage on local channels such as London Live for the capital based events or Manchester Live for the Manchester Open – either way it will be the perfect catalyst to boost participation.